The topic was Sit/Lie. there was some talk about how I opposed it and that we hoped that David Chiu wouldn't be lame enough to push for it as a ballot measure. Laws like this is where we really see what Prop 8 did to us. Now we can criminalize marginalized populations by popular vote. Bigotry en mass. Any way we were talking about Sit/Lie laws.
I began recounting the great experience that I had opposing the Sit/Lie ordinance. My team and I had a little lemon aid /cookie stand in the tenderloin. We signed people up to Stand Against Sit/Lie. My new pal Andy Blue, who also hosts League of Pissed Off Voters on Pirate Cat Radio, helps organize these city wide protests and also works for the amazing 2 year old Tenants Together was there. Andy really got into it; as he is a guy full of really great energy; and we had cameras and lemon aid and homeless and drag queens right out in public! Deborah Walker and her enormous cardboard head were there. It was a who's who right on the side walk. Say it like in Female Trouble "Anna Conda's having a lemon aid stand right out in class!"
The day was awesome and we dealt with lots of folks who call the streets their home. They were very nice in general and certainly no one has bullied us. We had about 85% people who supported and we listened to the reasons people gave for "not wanting to step over "that" every day." "That" by the way is a he or she incase you might not have noticed as you scorned them as the lie suffering under your feet. But I digress.
So I'm chatting about how I think San francisco should remain open to the ideals that make it a shelter and a bastion of uber liberal ideals and I say...
"It was such a great experience you should do it to I think its a great way to state your position and just meet people."
Reply "Well i think its better for me to stand back and talk about it from a political angle than to get involved. Plus it's risky my district might go for this or support sit/lie laws."
What? Ok I get it we ALL want to be elected. I know about the whole "it's a game" mentality. But this is exactly the disconnect that government has from the people. The idea that as a leader you would not get involved in civic matters at a very basic level is where the problems are happening. Would this person change their position to get elected? This is everyones choice to make and I know but the very story that we tell should be who we are. It is like the Born Again Christian Ministers who buy rent boys after calling for the death of fags. If you hate yourself so much that you would compromise your moral fortitude who cares what you say. It is only by being counted and standing up that a voice can be of use. All social change came with a fight. Without the fight poor, ethnic, gay, trans, ect... get bulldozed under in society.
It is not time to hide behind popularity and desire to win. There is always a bit of compromise but involvement early on is key to keeping the freedoms granted us by the universe are ours. Again look at Prop 8 and what it has done and we are so apathetic that we can't get it together to actually do anything about it. we are waiting for the courts to decide. You know what BIGOTRY as LAW is worth standing against. Thats what Prop 8 is thats what Sit/Lie is. By the way this is all brought to you by a Mayor who uses MUNI as a slush fund causing it to be deeply in debt, allows corrupt shelter systems to carry the burden of SF's homeless population while cutting their funding, and yet calls himself a humanitarian for fighting for gay rights. Yes a making the city so full of developers that fill your own personal agenda while bullshitting your way into the next office available.
This hypocrisy is not what is going to create solution. Accountable and sustainable should be our motto. We need to slow growth enough to become sustainable as we are. We must house the families, the teens, the junkies and all the disenfranchised before moving on. That is what our government is in place for. Not a stepping stone to salaries beyond reason.
We only have ourselves to blame when the rhetoric of "Only in my best interest" is acceptable as a way into elected office. How is that attitude actually going to stand up for our rights instead of their own best interests? They will not because they didn't getting elected. This is the down fall of the Democratic party in my view. No fortitude to take a stand and defend it.
So to end our conversation I said, "I just hope to help keep San Francisco a place that is magic and a retreat from the often abusive world."
They replied, "After living here a while you forget that about the city."
I hope we never never forget.